Bodycake – Kalmar County’s residence program for national and international artist
The residence program in Kalmar County has been in existence since 2013 when it was launched by Kalmar konstmuseum and the Arts Officer for Kalmar County. During the first years it went by the name Artists in residency (Air) in Kalmar län, supported by Iaspis, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s international programme for visual and applied artists.
After several successful exchanges the program has kept developing. In 2016 the name was changed to Bodycake, paying homage to the “kroppkaka” (lit. “body cake”) – a local delicacy. The residency has also been connected to the project Renewal of cultural heritage with contemporary art as a compass.
Together with different partners, the program has developed a method whereby artists get to explore cultural heritage in different places in Kalmar County. They have the opportunity to present their impressions of Swedish cultural heritage – both what it is today and what it might become in the future.
Up to three national or international artists are invited by Kalmar konstmuseum every year. Some of the cultural heritages explored so far include the textile heritage on Öland, and the glass industry. Through this scrutiny, perspectives such as city and countryside, feminism and equality are highlighted.
The visiting artists are attached to places with other active artists, schools or institutions. During their stay in Kalmar County they work specifically with a location or a question in one of the county’s municipalities and make connections with others. In some cases, the artists work with public exhibitions, in others the projects will take other forms that will vary between artists.
Effects of the project
One of the most visible effects of the residence program is the network it creates both for artists and institutions. It also raises awareness of the Swedish art environment, both traditional and contemporary, among international artists.
In connection with the residence program, contacts are also made between different bodies here at home. Local and international artists meet local planning offices and communities in new constellations that have received media attention and that boosts both towns and countryside.
Please find further information below about the artists and groups that have visited Kalmar County through Bodycake, and the previous collaboration with Iaspis.
For further questions, please contact Anneli Berglund, Arts Advisor Kalmar County, phone: +46 (0)480 – 42 62 84 email: email@example.com
Artists and groups that have taken part in Bodycake
The Chinese artist and calligrapher Huang Fei works in the porcelain city of Jingdezhen, China and uses traditional practices in his more contemporary art. He visited Kalmar County as part of a collaboration between Kalmar konstmuseum, Ateljéhus Pukeberg and Capellagården. He held sold out workshops in ink drawing, blue and white pottery and enamel glazed ceramics. He also exhibited some of his work at Galleri Monica Strandberg, in Kalmar.
The artist Malala Adrialavidrazana visited Designarkivet (the Design Archive) in Pukeberg, Nybro municipality, for a month. Malala’s work is often connected to Africa’s colonial past which is reassessed in her large scale photo montages – collages of many different cultural objects and symbols.
During her stay in Nybro, Malala Andrialavidrazana was interested in expressions of feminism and colonialism in Swedish design. Sketches by Wanja Djanaieff, Hans Krondahl, Carl Johan De Geer and others inspired the glass sculpture The Lollipop Warrior. The glass blowers at The Glass Factory in Boda turned Malala’s design into a real object.
Petri Saarikko’s first artist visit to Öland in 2016 sparked a fascination for Kalmar County and he has returned several times since. In 2018 he once again visited the county for a residency, this time at Döderhultarmuseet in Oskarshamn and at Astrid Lindgren’s Näs, where the artwork Lullabies continued to develop.
The South African designer and artist Nkuli Mlangeni examined female textile heritage on Öland. During her stay on the island she visited churches and museums and interviewed artists, students, teachers and historians. The interviews resulted in a podcast and a fanzine from the collated material which were made available to the public at the library in Mörbylånga.
The photographer, journalist and activist Sujatro Ghosh received worldwide attention for his work with women and equality in India. During a few weeks on Öland he continued to investigate the topic by looking at Swedish feminism and the different ways in which women claim their space in society. Sujatro Ghosh also took an interest in refugees and integration and made a series of photographs with portraits of refugees on the island.
The South African graffiti artist Buntu Fihla came to Kalmar County and Öland for the exhibition You have two cows at Kalmar konstmuseum, where he participated with both graffiti work and video works.
The Estonian artist Hannah Harkes both exhibited and held artist talks for the public in the gallery at Kulturmagasinet in Bergkvara. She also worked with a project at Torsskolan in Torsås.
The artist Sasha Huber is of Swiss-Haitian descent, born in Switzerland but now residing in Helsinki, Finland. Sasha visited Kalmar konstmuseum and made preparations for works of art and a performance that were shown as part of the exhibition Deep Memory at the art museum in the spring of 2017.
The Finnish artist Petri Saarikko was based in Mörbylånga municipality on Öland where he worked with the local art school and with refugee children. During his time on Öland he further developed the project Lullabies, which he had already worked with internationally. The refugee children placed in Mörbylånga municipality wrote lullabies for their parents. The songs were filmed and became a video work that was exhibited at Kalmar konstmuseum in the early spring of 2018.
The Slovenian artist group BridA works with community information, organisation and art. During their stay in Kalmar, they collaborated with the local groups Teaterhörnan and Lindöateljéerna. Visits and interviews with artists laid the foundations for exchanges and residencies in Slovenia.
The Estonian architects and urbanists Art Ader and Andra Aaloe spent a month at Virserums Konsthall. During their stay they came into contact with refugees at a refugee home and found out that they were not allowed to cook their own food in the home. In response, an open invitation was made for people to come to the main square in Virserum, where food from all over the world was cooked and shared, followed by a lecture by the artists about some of their social artistic projects.
The performance artist Nikoloz Lutidze from the Georgian artist group Bouillon Group visited Nybro. Together with the glass blower Micke Johansson of Ateljéhus Pukeberg he experimented with glass for the exhibition Lost and Found in Transit at Kalmar konstmuseum.
Nikoloz Lutidze also carried out a workshop in the making of the Georgian dish khinkali. After it was cooked it was eaten while restaurant visitors in Tblisi, Georgia tried kroppkakor at the same time. The experience was shared via weblink.
One of the first residency projects in Kalmar County was attended by three artists and artists groups from the US and Germany. The artist group M12 visited Kultivator on Öland; Anna Mlasowsky was at The Glass Factory in Emmaboda municipality; and Paran Pour collaborated with Lindöateljéerna and Kalmar konstmuseum. These two month long visits were a unique investment in countryside studios at the time. Kalmar County was the first place outside of the big cities to take part in the Swedish state’s international exchange program for artists (Iaspis).
During her stay at The Glass Factory, Anna Mlasowsky explored sound and patterns in nature and transferred these to glass. Spider webs and sound vibrations were among the things that turned into expressions of new shapes on glass.
Together with the artist group Kultivator on Öland, the participant architectural sculpture Elder’s Hill was created at Kultivator’s farm. The structure drew inspiration from both Sweden and the US and was both a food cellar and an outdoor classroom – open to everyone to use for an exchange of knowledge between generations. Elder’s Hill is a part of the larger collaboration Gran’s University that was introduced in 2011 with the goal of maintaining a dialogue around the importance of global, rural connections.
The water tower in Berga, Kalmar, became the focus of Paran Pour’s interest in people’s memories, in architecture and in cities. Interviews with people and institutions that in different ways were connected to the water tower and its history, became a film and a graphic profile that was exhibited at Kalmar konstmuseum.